Is there anything that says the new temple has to be built in Jerusalem?
@Luna Great question While there are those who believe the temple will be rebuilt, I think there is very strong Biblical evidence that God will never again dwell in a physical temple. If we trace the theme of a temple through the New Testament, we consistently see that Jesus Himself, the Church, and individual believers are identified as God’s temple. The description of a temple in Revelation is clearly symbolic—not a description of a giant cube city. In fact, Revelation 21 specifically says that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is a cube - just like the holy of holies in the OT and it is built on the foundation of the apostles testimony about Jesus. It is, in fact, the Church, the Bride of Christ.
In addition, the NT consistently emphasizes the fact that the OT sacrifices were only a shadow of what was to come and that the substance is found in Christ. So the idea of going back to temple sacrifices runs contrary to the way the theme of the temple is discussed in the NT.
John 4:21-24 - “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Hebrews 8:3-6,13 - Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises…By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
1 Corinthians 3:16 - Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Revelation 21:22 - “I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb”
Revelation Chapter 21: John sees the New Jerusalem, a symbolic representation of God’s perfect Church with imagery drawn from Ezekiel’s description of Eden and Ezekiel’s temple. [Ezekiel 28.13/40-48] This beautiful bride is contrasted with the previous harlot who prostituted herself with the beast. Whereas the priestly garments of the Old Covenant had 12 different stones, each with a name of one of the 12 tribes engraved upon it [Exodus 28.17-21], John sees the New Jerusalem built on a foundation of 12 different stones, each with a name of the one of the 12 apostles engraved upon it. Since the New Jerusalem is the Church, it has no temple within it, because the Church is the temple of God, and God resides within the New Jerusalem. In fact, just as this city is a cube – the holy of holies in the OT was a cube – 15x15x15 feet for one man – now much larger for all the saints. John sees that the wicked are not allowed into the New Jerusalem, corresponding to the fact that only those who believe in Christ and repent of their sins become members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.
That means Jesus becomes the crucial temple, that is, the real, the ultimate meeting place between God and sinful people so that the typological lines, the trajectories of the old covenant come together in him. He is the ultimate priest. He is the ultimate sacrifice. His flesh is the veil, and his shattered, broken body is the shattered, broken temple that rises on the third day to become the real meeting place between God and sinful people.
So in the New Testament the antitype of these strands regarding the temple emerge in three ways — two big ones and one small one. The first big one is Jesus himself as the ultimate temple. The second big one is the church of Jesus Christ as the temple; that is, it is the meeting place between God and sinners. Here is where God speaks through his temple to the surrounding nations. Being constituted as the church, it becomes the meeting place between God and sinners and, thus, becomes a temple as well. And then in one or two passages only our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. That language is used further there.
I agree with SeanO in that God will never again dwell in another physical temple. But in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 there is a Temple of God spoken of.
2Th 2:4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
The word Temple is actually speaking of another physical Temple of God that is yet to be built. There are those that teach that the original temple was not located on the temple mount as we know of today but I disagree because the Jewish people would never accept a new temple to be built any place else except on the temple mount.
So many believe that Christ could come at any minute but the antichrist must be here on earth doing his best to stamp out the people of God and the antichrist must have a temple to sit in before he can sit in it and declare himself to be God.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. These prophecies must take place before the return of Christ. So when we see a new Temple of God being built on the Temple mount, then we can say that Christ’s return will happen any minute. But note until that Temple is complete and the antichrist sits in the Holy of Holies and declares himself to be the returned Christ.
I do disagree with SeanO on the sacrifices. The last eight chapters of the book of Ezekiel are all about the description of a Temple that has not been built yet but will be the temple used by Christ during the 1000 year reign of Christ here on earth. according to the description of the temple and the practices observed in that temple by “The Prince” who come and goes through the eastern gate, there will be sacrifices once again.
Eze 44:2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
Eze 44:3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
Today the eastern gate at the temple mount is blocked off with stones and the Muslims have put a grave yard there in front of the gate.
Eze 45:17 And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
Eze 45:18 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:
Eze 46:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
Eze 46:2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening.
Eze 46:3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.
Eze 46:4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.
Eze 46:5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
Eze 46:6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish.
Eze 46:7 And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
Eze 46:8 And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof.
Eze 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that enter in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that enter by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.
Eze 46:10 And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth.
Eze 46:11 And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
Eze 46:12 Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the LORD, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate.
Eze 46:13 Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning.
Eze 46:14 And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD.
Eze 46:15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.
According to the DBD lexicon the word “Prince” in chapters 45, 46 and 48 are all speaking of a “Future Davidic King”. Since we know that this Temple described in the last 8 chapters of Eze. has not been built which tells us that this temple will at some point in the future will be built and that the Prince will be from the line of David. I believe that the Prince will be in fact Jesus Christ and according to the list of sacrifices to be made by the command of God, tells me that sacrifices will once again be done once this temple is built.
@massorite7 Thanks for sharing Something to consider - in the Bible a man does not need to literally sit in a physical temple to ‘sit in the temple of God’. See these passages from the Old Testament for examples: “Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thin heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou are a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God” (Eze. 28:2). Another example (one of many) that should be consulted is Isaiah’s description of the king of Babylon: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above of heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13, 14). Neither the King of Tyre nor the King of Babylon literally took their seat in the temple in Jerusalem and yet because of their pride and arrogance they are described as sitting in the seat of God.
@massorite7 One alternate way to understand Ezekiel’s temple vision is that the temple Ezekiel described would only be built if Israel truly repented and sought God. Because Israel’s response was not wholehearted, the temple never was and never will be built. Christ has come and established a better covenant with better promises. Again, there are a few reasons that the rebuilding of a temple with the old priesthood in place does not make sense. Consider the following article.
The vision presents a centralized worship in a specified geographical place. In the Old Testament, people were expected to approach the tabernacle, or (later) the temple, for this purpose (Deut. 12:5, 11). Jesus, however, announced to the Samaritan woman that the time of centralized worship was soon to end and to be replaced with spiritual worship, which does not depend on being in any particular place (John 4:21–24; cf. Acts 7:48–50).
In Ezekiel’s vision, the Levites and Aaronic priesthood are seen in their former places of service. According to the New Testament, there has been a change of the priesthood (Heb. 7:12). The Jewish priesthood has been replaced by a different priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5) and a non-Aaronic high priest (Jesus). This modification will not be reversed, for Christ is said to be “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:17, 21).
How then are we to understand the temple vision? First, one might reasonably refer to the vision as that which “might have been,” had the Jewish exiles in Babylon exhibited a more thorough repentance than they did. There is an indication that the realization of this vision in Israel’s future was contingent on the people being sufficiently ashamed, or repentant, of their past sins: “Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple” (Ezek. 43:10–11).
I appreciate your attitude toward “what-if’s”, Robert, but i remember that there is evidence that the Temple was not built exactly where the Dome of the Rock now is. And there are many websites, if not experts , who offer their opinion on it.
Here’s a quote from one of them, from the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, “New Evidence for the Site of the Temple in Jerusalem”, by Ernest L. Martin, Ph. D, 2000
“A new and accurate evaluation is essential regarding the site of the former Temples in Jerusalem. Neither the Dome of the Rock near the center of the Haram esh-Sharif in Jerusalem, nor the Al Aqsa Mosque occupying the southern side of the Haram (nor ANY area within the four walls of that Haram) was the real spot in Jerusalem where the holy Temples of God were located. Biblical and literary accounts dogmatically place the site of all the Temples over the Gihon Spring just north of the ancient City of David (Zion) and on the southeastern ridge of Jerusalem. All the present antagonists fighting in Jerusalem over the Temple site are warring over (and for) the wrong place. They need to turn their swords and guns into plowshares.”
So, it seems possible, if this is true, that there might be a war or natural disaster which causes the Israelis and Palestinians to agree to sharing the general area, especially under the leadership of a new “one-world Leader”, and then a new temple could be built for “peaceful purposes”, and sacrifices initiated.
The religious Jews (non-Messianic) would probably want to use the dimensions and description in Ezekiel as their “blueprint” to “fulfill Biblical prophecy” as they wait for Messiah to come (actually, to return, for us, of course).
Sure seems like a lot of work for something that won’t last over 7 years, doesn’t it?